Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday shopping and I'm worn out!

So, I kind of broke my annual tradition this year. Normally, I head out at 4:30 am with my sisters and mom and we hit every doorbuster sale possible. This year, I just couldn't do it. My sister and I had decided that we were going to sleep in (if that's what you call 6:30) and not go so early to fight the crowds. Honestly, I didn't have a lot of shopping to do today. Why go and just get sucked into purchasing all the deals that the stores had to offer? It just didn't make sense. We went with the mind set that we were not going to rush around and wear ourselves out. We were going to take our time, enjoy our time out and if what we wanted was sitting on the shelf waiting for us...great! If it was on sale...even better!

I am happy to say that the things I was going for were still there waiting for me and still on sale when I got to them. Wait...there was one item that was gone. I wasn't able to get my $5 calendar/planner from the Family Christian Bookstore...they were sold out. That never happens. I have a feeling that they didn't get as many as they normally do. So now I'm on the hunt for a different calendar/planner...change...this ones going to be tough!.

Now, because we started later (8:00 am) meant we got home later (4:15). I think I was more tired this year than I was last year. I'm sure it didn't help that it took me forever to fall asleep last night and then when I did, I didn't sleep very well. :(

It does feel good to know that I am pretty much finished with our Christmas shopping. I have one or two little things to pick up and then I just need to finish up the kids' stockings. Basically one afternoon of shopping, and not even a full afternoon at that, and I will be finished!

So, how is your shopping coming? Did any of you brave the crowds this morning?

(I think my sis-in-law...she hates being called that...was one of those early birds this morning. I'm still waiting to hear about her finds.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a day for us to express the things we are thankful for. First and foremost, we are thankful for our Lord and Savior and for the fact that he sent his son to die for our sins. And now, because of that, we can have eternal life...THANK YOU JESUS!
We are thankful for our family, friends and church family! Each of you mean so much to us and have been so supportive of us in the decisions that we have had to make over the past couple of years. Thank you for jumping on board and praying us through these times. At this point, we still don't know where this journey that God has us on will end but we sure are thankful that He is the one in control!

I could list so many more things but I want to get to the fun part!

Today, we are spending Thanksgiving at home with just the 5 of us. My immediate family is spread out with their "other sides". We could have joined my dad's family but there weren't going to be any kids there for our kids to play with so we decided to just take time and enjoy the day with just us! It has been fun and I really mean that! The girls have been looking forward all week to helping me prepare our Thanksgiving meal.
Ethan really wanted to help too. So, we decided that he could help cut the bananas for the snicker salad. Jason sat and supervised and actually marked the banana so Ethan knew right where to cut. I am so thankful for the Pampered Chef "My Safe Cutter" knives that I have. I don't think I would trust him with a "real" knife. He was so proud of himself.
Brenna's job was to cut the Snicker bars.
And, Alyssa's job was to cut the apples.
Together the girls made the pudding part of the salad and then Ethan added the Cool Whip.
Ethan also helped me make the Green Bean Casserole while the girls diced potatoes. Ethan has the cutest little song that he sings while stirring, he learned it from Preschool. I am so glad that we decided to video some of the meal prep because we were able to get the song on video. I will cherish that forever!!

My sister was having the McPhail family over today and told Jason that while she was prepping for their meal, she would make him an 8x8 of sweet potatoes. He was thrilled...thank you Trisha for sharing! I'm not much of a sweet potato fan. However, if Trisha hadn't offered, I would have made him a small pan of them.

Once the turkey was ready. Jason was the official "carver" and did a great job!
I was brave enough to pull out the china, or as Ethan calls them "Mommy's fancy plates." I will admit, I was nervous at first but they did really good. I was more nervous about using my stem wear but they were all very cautious...maybe because I told them if they were careful and nothing got broke I would do this more often.
This is what our plates looked like...minus the stuffing. I remembered that after the picture and after I started eating so it didn't make the picture.
I think this is probably one of the best Thanksgiving days we've had. The kids watched the Macy's Day Parade, we prepared food together and it all tasted great, Jason is doing all of the dishes while I am posting this, the kids are watching a movie, and now...Now, I'm off to decorate this house for Christmas!

We hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey "Feast"...2nd grade style

Yesterday, I had the privilege of joining Alyssa's class for some Thanksgiving festivities. Mrs. VanDiest, Alyssa's teacher, had some amazing activities planned for the kids to participate in. There were five different stations for each child to participate in.

The girls made pilgrim hats and the boys made Indian headpieces. The boys were suppose to have their choice of pilgrim hats or the Indian headpieces but the pilgrim hats for the boys didn't copy right. :( I couldn't get Alyssa to put her pilgrim hat on for anything. (She is not much of a hat fan...actually it's more hats that tie under her chin. She hates birthday hats because of the elastic.)

Each student was asked to bring a sock. They used their socks to make turkey puppets.
Another station was where the kids made cornbread and then they had a jar of cream to carry around with them the rest of the morning. They were to shake this cream until they made butter. We had some very sore arms and the moms did a lot of the shaking for them.
At my station, the kids made Turkey Soup. We made this recipe 5 different times. (There were 5 groups of'd think I had this soup recipe memorized by the time I left. Sadly, I did not.)

The students measured the ingredients and cut potatoes, carrots and celery. As much as I love boys...some of them should not be allowed in the "kitchen"! They were scaring myself and the grandmother that I was working with. They would use the knife as if it were an axe...raising it straight up in the air and coming down with much force. Yes, they were instructed before getting the knife how they were to use it and we even demonstrated the proper way to cut the vegetables. That obviously meant nothing to them. Never fear, we took the knife away immediately when they were caught using the knife inappropriately and passed it on to someone who could be more cautious! Thankfully nobody was hurt.
At the last station, the kids got to make turkey cookies. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a good shot of Alyssa at that station...I was busy supervising children with knives! The cookies turned out soooooo cute!!

We sent the kids to recess so that we could get some clean up taken care and got everything ready for the rest of the morning.

Each reading group performed for the class. While most of them read different short poems about the pilgrims and Thanksgiving, Alyssa's reading group actually read a story to the class. These 5 kids are amazing readers. I realize one of them is mine and it may sound like I'm bragging a little bit but we are very proud of Alyssa and her reading skills. I have the privilege of working with this particular group every Tuesday. They are a joy to sit and listen to as they read their chapter books.

The story that the group read was "Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving". It was such a fun story and the class loved it. They had us all laughing by the end.
After each group performed, Mrs. VanDiest had some really cute songs for them to sing. For the first one, they used their sock puppets.
Finally, the soup was ready and we could have our "feast". I was sad that I wasn't able to stay for the remainder of the time. (I had to get Ethan to Preschool and then I had to go to work.) However, before I left, I did get a few pictures!

I was shocked that Alyssa ate her soup...she's usually not much of a soup girl. The kids really didn't have any choice because they weren't getting anything else for lunch (nobody brought a lunch from home) and since we had switched their eating time with their lunch recess...they were hungry!
After school, the girls had some fun and made Ethan a headpiece for him to wear. We called him our "Little Squanto". Isn't he a cute little Indian boy?!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Have you given up on me?

If not, you should have! I can't believe how long it's been since I've blogged about our family. Wow! Sorry to those of you who keep checking back.

These past few weeks have been busy ones. Last weekend, Jason and I attended the FamilyLife Weekend To Remember conference out at Semiahmoo. As usual, we had a great time just being able to focus on us and who we are as a couple. People ask how we can go year after year and not get tired of it. Our response is that every year there are different speakers and it's amazing how each person has something different to "bring to the table". If nothing else, it's a great excuse to leave the kids with friends and family and just get away!

Once we got home on Sunday, we focused on getting ready for our church Thanksgiving Banquet. I got my salad and veggie dish ready and then we headed out the door by 4:00 so that Jason could be there on time to lead the worship team practice and then actually lead the worship times for the banquet. He always does such an amazing job. God has truly gifted him in music. I could sit and listen to him play and sing all day.

The rest of the week was full of kids...getting the kids to school, watching my niece a couple of days and having my nephews one day. I love having all of them here. On Wednesday, Paige and all three W's were here together. My sisters think I'm crazy for having them all on the same day but I love it! Ethan has buddies to play with and my mom is so willing to help get him to and from Preschool that day. I just get to stay home and spread the love between all 5 kiddos. 5 kids...ages 4 and under!! It's only tough when the two little ones think they need auntie at the same time. That only happens about once each time they are all here together. We always make it work though. It just means my arms are full of love when holding them both. It's the best excuse that I have to just sit on the couch and snuggle.

Last night, Friday, we took Ethan to my sister's house and then headed to the high school with the girls for the "Final Mile". pictures...I didn't have my camera with me. The girls have been participating in Marathon Club and they run laps around the field/cones during lunch recess. (It's a part of their PE program.) Anyway, last night was the final part of this activity and because they both completed 100+ laps at school, they were able to participate last night in completing their "marathon" by running/walking 5 laps around the track. Of course, it was windy and rainy last night, and we all left soaking wet. I am so thankful that we chose to not have Ethan there with us. He would have been miserable.

Once we made it home, the girls took warm baths to warm up their cold little bodies and then we made hot chocolate. It was weird to think that that was Brenna's last time to participate in this activity. Next year is middle school for her...scary!!

This weekend we are getting the Christmas lights up. No worries...they won't go on until Thanksgiving night. We decided to get them up though since it is currently not raining and the wind is quiet. I am excited, however, to start decorating. I love having all of the decorations up and Christmas music playing. We've actually been playing Christmas music since October 1st. I know, I know...some of you just can't do that. We have so many Christmas CD's, and will probably pick up 1 or 2 more this year, that there just isn't enough time from the day after Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve to play it all and actually be able to enjoy the CD's. We rotate the music in the cars and house CD player weekly.

Well, I suppose I better get to helping Jason. I don't want him to be at the peak of the roof without me being out there. I promise to have more posts with pictures soon! We have lots of fun things coming up these next few weeks so I will be sure to share them with all of our blog friends/family!

Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"But that doesn't make sense!"


Only 15 minutes after posting...Ethan is sound asleep. Hmmm, I guess Dad and Mom do know best!


We are currently in the midst of a nap/rest battle with Ethan. It is seriously happening as I type this. I had to take a break from the battle and let Jason deal with it so that I could come and share this with all of you who love to read about our family.

We informed Ethan that it was time for his nap/rest. These only happen on Sundays lately and it helps get him through Christ Group. So, Jason had him come to me to give me loves and then walked him to his room. Of course, Ethan started crying so Jason shut the door and told him that when he was finished crying the door could be opened.

It wasn't 30 seconds after Jason walked away from the door that Ethan comes out and says, "I'm happy now so that means that I can stay up." We of course inform him that happy or sad, he is taking a rest. He looks straight at me and says, "But that doesn't make sense. Only sad boys have to take naps and I'm not sad. Happy boys get to stay up and play." We informed him that happy or sad, he was taking a nap and because he was arguing it was a nap and no longer a rest.

CHILDREN! The things they come up with.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Auntie's Playday...

Wednesday was my AUNTIE DAY!!

Now that Tanya, my sis-in-law, has gone back to work (just 2 days a week), I have her boys one day a week (either Monday or Wednesday) and my brother has them the other. Ethan loves that his cousins/buddies come to play with him on a weekly basis now.

My sister is still involved with their tomato greenhouse so I also have my niece 2 days a week...Wednesdays and Fridays.

So...every other Wednesday I get all 4 kiddos on the same day. They think I'm crazy and a friend of mine called to see if I was surviving. This is my day to sit and do nothing but play with big kids and take care of babies!! We only had one moment of two babies crying at the same time but they were both suppose to be sleeping so they each had to take turns of crying it out for a few minutes before Auntie would go in and console them. I know, I know...mean Auntie you are thinking but this is what their mommies do so that's what Auntie needs to do too.

The big boys just played all morning together and had a great time getting out ALL of the toys in Ethan's room. They were so busy playing that I couldn't get them to all look up at me at the same time for a picture so I gave up and just captured the moment of them playing.
The room only got worse as the morning went.

Paige kept trying to escape the Family room to go find the boys and of course, that would upset them because, as they stated, "She's a girl and can't play with boy toys. She ruins our stuff." Sorry day they will let you play with them. So, Paige kept herself busy crawling around the rest of herself and pulling herself up where ever she could. I just love this smile of hers! (Paige had some adjustment time today... She is so use to being here with just Ethan and Auntie. She was not liking the fact that she was having to share Auntie with the other cousins. Amazing that she has that figured out at 9 months old.)
Then there was Wyatt...of course, I thought I would go in a capture the moment of him napping in Auntie's bed but instead I found this...
He was just laying there so peacefully. So, I took my picture and left. He did eventually go to sleep but not for very long. That was okay though because it meant more time for Auntie snuggles!!

Ethan eventually had to be at Preschool by 12:15...thank you Mom for getting him there! Loading 5 kids up for a 10 minute trip is where I draw the line! It's just not going to happen unless absolutely necessary.

Wayne helped me get the room picked up...he is such a great helper...and then it was time for Wayne and Weston to rest on the couch and watch Dora.

By 12:45, Trisha arrived for Paige and then Tanya came for the boys around 1:30. I had just over an hour to myself before having to get Ethan from Preschool. It was weird being in the house alone. There had been so much playing going on all morning. There had also been three crazy boys running and happily screaming through my house at different times of the morning as well. It was so fun having them all here. However, I will admit...having a good hour of silence before getting Ethan home again was nice.

I love these kids so much and can't wait for the next time that they are all here again!